Tri­umph TR3A (p131), As­ton DB7 Van­tage Volante (p132), Mini Cooper S (p135), Tri­umph TR5 (p136)

This en­gi­neer-re­stored left-hooker is very well de­tailed, drives flaw­lessly and looks ex­cel­lent value, says Russ Smith

Classic Cars (UK) - - Contents -

This TR started life as an Amer­i­can mar­ket car. Repa­tri­ated some years ago, it was bought as a re­tire­ment project by a for­mer Perkins Diesel en­gi­neer. There is a pho­to­graphic record of all the work car­ried out – a full body-off, nut-and-bolt project. The one job that wasn’t car­ried out was to con­vert the steer­ing to right-hand drive, but as these TRS are so nar­row, from the driver’s seat it hardly mat­ters.

The car has hardly been driven since the restora­tion was com­pleted – and just eight miles since the lat­est MOT was car­ried out in Jan­uary – so it still looks sharp. There are no flaws in the even Bri­tish Rac­ing Green paint, and the panel fit and fin­ish is spot-on. Even the al­loy trim strips be­tween the wings and the bodyshell look new and are so far un­tar­nished. Racey mesh stone­guards on the cor­rect Lu­cas P700 ‘tri­pod’ head­lamps are a nice touch and the rest of the bright­work is good, per­haps apart from the screen surround which might ben­e­fit from more of a pol­ish.

The hood and sidescreens are in sim­i­larly good or­der to the body. Like­wise, the wheels have been painted to a high stan­dard, show no kerb­ing marks, and wear new-look­ing chrome hub­caps with ex­cel­lent Tri­umph ‘world’ badges. The only down­side is the tyres, which may be a throw­back to the car’s pre-restora­tion days. The CEATS on the front have good tread, with only slightly less on the Uniroy­als at the rear, but the side­walls of the lat­ter are start­ing to crack. It would be wise to bud­get for a new set in the near fu­ture.

One glance at the in­te­rior tells you it was re­done not long ago. It’s all very well ex­e­cuted and hasn’t strayed from stan­dard spec – there isn’t even a ra­dio. Trim­ming has been done in grey leather, which was an op­tion to the stan­dard-fit vinide Rex­ine when new. If we are to be picky, there seems to be more than the usual amount of lat­eral ‘wob­ble’ in the driver’s seat base spring­ing, and the fore-aft ad­just­ment in the re­painted run­ners is a bit sticky.

Un­der the bon­net all is very well in­deed, much as the fac­tory in­tended. It’s nice to see de­tails like the AC air fil­ter hous­ings in cor­rect satin black fin­ish rather than over-re­stored in a gloss fin­ish. They also wear the cor­rect de­cals and there’s a prop­erly stamped re­pro chas­sis plate on the bulk­head. It is be­lieved the cylin­der head has been gas-flowed and it wears a riv­eted-on ‘SAH Ac­ces­sories Con­ver­sion’ tag. A cou­ple of rub­ber fuel pipes show some crack­ing, but it is only mi­nor.

The car feels live­lier than other TR3AS I’ve driven, and drives flaw­lessly, in­clud­ing op­er­a­tion of the over­drive. Oil pres­sure sits at 75psi at speed, drop­ping to 60psi at idle.

This looks like one of those op­por­tu­ni­ties to take ad­van­tage of some­one else’s hard work. You cer­tainly couldn’t buy a project and have it re­stored for any­thing like this kind of money. And this one’s ready to go.

A Us-mar­ket car, the UK re­storer de­cided not to con­vert to right-hand drive

Grey leather trim is pe­riod-cor­rect – Rex­ine was stan­dard

Over­head valve in-line four is be­lieved to have been gas-flowed

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